January 16, 2006
The 30x30" Sumi 3 was completed in 2003, one of a series that I felt very good about, this painting in particular. I liked it so much, and the format was so pleasing to me that I felt I could do a slight variation on a 48x42 semi vertical rather than a square, seen here as Cosmos, completed in Nov, 2005. I printed out a small image of Sumi 3 to guide me, but the intent was never to actually copy the work verbatim. Good thing, too! The larger Cosmos isn't a bad painting (the dark bottom border is more interesting that the photo allows) but it certainly suffers in comparison to the original thought. Thankfully, they will never be seen together (unless the cosmos really gets weird!)
This exercise tells me several things... original intuition is lost when you try to repeat yourself... and my energy is better spent on new explorations rather than old... even if the new stuff isn't wonderful, the copy will always be just that... a rerun. This is not to say that working in series, where one painting leads to the next, isn't a good idea... in fact, for me, it's often the best idea. On comparing the two, I also see that pentimento, a VERY important element in my work, is missing. The second painting is flat without it. I went straight to the end product and lost evidence of all the trial and error that is what my process is all about. Rats! No short cuts!